Congratulations Joyce Dipastena! You win a copy of “Winter Solstice Winter” by E.J. Squires.
(I will give your email address to Author E.J. Squires to coordinate giving you your prize.)
And now Joyce you are allowed to show your pleasure.
For those who didn’t win you can still read this fabulous book which is available on kindle for only $3.99 on Amazon. Here is the link to purchase your copy today. http://www.amazon.com/Winter-Solstice-Viking-Blood-ebook/dp/B00EPRM4X0/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378155753&sr=1-2 It’s also available in paperback if you would like to have something more tangible to hold.
Check out my interview with E.J. Squires, especially see who the authors picks are for possible movie options and find out why she choose the self-publishing route. Here is the interview below:
Julie: Thank you E. J. for taking time out of your busy writing schedule for this interview.
E. J. : Thank you Julie, for having taken the time to read my novel, and for writing such a positive review. I really appreciate you including me in an interview on your website.
Julie: What made you want to write a viking folklore fantasy book?
E. J. : There were many factors that played a role in me writing this Viking folklore fantasy book. I was born and raised for a significant part of my life in Norway. Both my parents are Norwegian, and I still have family living there. Before I started writing the novel, I owned a ballet studio, and I was in the process of setting up a ballet production that I had choreographed called “In Search of the Christmas Star.” It was based on a Norwegian folktale (plus I added some things to make it a better adaptation for ballet.) When I wrote the synopsis for the ballet, which was to go in the program for the show, my husband suggested that I write a book about the story. I wrote the book, which was very simple and sold a few copies. While writing that book, I started doing some research on the Vikings, and was so inspired and intrigued by their culture (and my crazy ancestors) that I wanted to write something more substantial that tied in all aspects of their culture, from their mythology to their lifestyle to the beautiful dramatic nature that is in the Scandinavian countries. Before the ballet was finished, (crazy me, putting on a ballet, preparing for Christmas and raising three kids under the age of eight), I started writing the story, and it evolved to become “Winter Solstice Winter.”
Julie: What is your favorite book or website to research for your book?
E. J. : I used many websites, but the two I used the most
Julie: Do you outline or do you write out-of-order?
E. J. : Well, during my first book, I just started writing without an outline at all. My first draft was over 500 pages long (123 K words!), and had a very long intro, which included more of Queen Maud and King Olav’s relationship. I cut out like 100 pages, and then added more about Ailia, the leading character. In my second book in this series, called Summer Solstice Summer, I did an outline, but I keep everything very flexible. If the characters want to go somewhere else, I re-write the outline. I think writing from an outline is much easier.
Julie: What inspired you to independently publish?
E. J. : I had sent quite a few query letters out, but no agent wanted to represent my book. One agent would say the intro is too long, and then I’d cut some. And then I’d get another agent who said that I needed more of an intro, so I decided to do what I wanted and thought fit the story best. Later I read an article on Amanda Hawking, and did some research on authors who had self-published, and I was pleasantly surprised that many well-know authors started out self-publishing. I am the type of person who likes to be in charge of my own career, so the decision to self-publish was an easy one. I will continue to query some agents with some of my other novels, but just because I get rejected by them, doesn’t mean I’m going to sit and wait on my laurels!
Julie: What made you want to become a writer?
E. J. : I enjoy expressing myself, and am a little more of an introvert. It gives me the freedom to say what I want, to develop a story the way I want and to hopefully, touch people’s lives in a positive way. I love reading, and have always admired great writers who can take these simple words and create an experience for others.So with that in mind, I set out on my own writing journey.
Julie: If you could cast your book into an epic movie and have, let’s say, Peter Jackson produce and direct it; who would you want to cast for Soren? Lucia? Ailia? There are so many great parts we could go on and on.
E. J. : This is a great question, because one of the first things I did was cast this for a movie! So, here are the nominees:
Soren: Viggo Mortensen
Lucia: Amanda Seyfried
Ailia: Jennifer Lawrence
I also had King Olav cast, Queen Maud, Unni… well, pretty much everyone. I think it would make an awesome movie one day.
Julie: Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what was on your play list to get you in the writing mood? Or is music to distracting?
E. J. : I haven’t so far, but that’s a great suggestion. I’ll have to try it some time. (I think if I did listen to it while writing Winter Solstice winter it would be the Braveheart soundtrack or The Gladiator soundtrack.)
Julie: What’s your next book you are working on?
E. J. : I have one more chapter left of my next novel “The 13th Huldra.” It is also based in Norse Folklore, but is a contemporary Paranormal Romance in the YA genre (Edgier and lighter than Winter Solstice Winter)
I am also working on a memoir called “Thunderthigh Ballerina” and on “Summer Solstice Summer”, the next book after Winter Solstice Winter.
(No multi-tasking going on here…)
Stay connected with E. J. via Facebook and Twitter:
Evelyn J. Squires was born in the land of the Midnight Sun. When she moved to the USA with her family in 1992, she completed High School and studied Comparative Literature at Brigham Young University. She married in 2003, and now resides in Florida with her husband and three children.